Don’t Let It Pass You By

I imagine that if I got together at a party with my blogging friends in the real dimension, we would have a blast and all be fast friends. We would hit it off immediately with laughter and tears of joys. There would be no hang ups, no jealousies, no judgments, no cliques, as we already know each other so well and have revealed our secrets. And then I thought to myself…have I? Or, have I been aloof on my own blog?

My blog has been my happy place and my lighter side, as of late. I talked about transitions with a fence in my backyard, suggesting I could share a moment with my neighbors. There was no moment, and that was fine. The new fence was up in two days, accompanied by a lot racket with my cats in a frenzied state. You think they’d lost a life. I’ve never heard such moaning over a fence down.

There it’s down…

Fence down, side view

Fence downNow it’s up!

Fence up, side viewFence upFor me, this fence marks change and the passing of time. Lately, I feel as if my life is appearing in flashes before my eyes. Recently, I attended the memorial of my late Uncle Bob, who lost the battle to cancer. Although a sad event, it was an amazing experience to be reunited with relatives whom I haven’t seen for more than thirty years. Our reunion was easy, acceptance in the air rolling off of us like a cool breeze, our embraces full, our smiles genuine. In the back of my mind, I thought it sad it had taken Uncle Bob’s death to reunite us.

Since his memorial, life is unraveling for many of my relatives. Another uncle has been hit with an onslaught of grief. In addition to his brother’s death, a pending divorce, and then just last week, lost his daughter a car accident. What more can one take?

In an earlier drama, my sister’s and brother’s cars were stolen in the same week, hardly a coincidence, this now an inconvenient circumstance more than anything. Still, stress-inducing for all involved.

As I pause to reflect in a rare moment of quiet in my house, I see how it is all too easy for me to excuse my own insecurities and worries. They seem small and insignificant. At this juncture, I recognize that life is, indeed, passing. When you’re in your forties, no longer does one say, “You have your whole life in front of you.” You don’t hear it, and if you did, you wouldn’t fall for it. In actuality, you’re lucky if you have half your life in front of you. This is not me being down in the dumps, although I would pop a Xanax right now if I could.

Honestly, I feel crippled by my inability to find a job after a ten-year absence from work, having chosen to stay at home with my kids. I’ve had a few part-time jobs here and there to help supplement the family income. If I had known how hard it would be to get back, I don’t think I would have ever left. Sometimes, I don’t know if I have it in me to write yet another cover letter. I also am weary by my constant indecision as to what to do with my life and decide what to be when I grow up. I’m starting all over. I’ll settle on a path and then, almost as quickly, become discouraged and abandon it altogether.

A few weeks ago, I was finally awarded a temporary job by my employment agency. I temped for a temp as a receptionist, and my employer instructed me not to answer the phone. Just let voice mail pick it up. Oh, really? Is this what it’s come down to? I had to laugh a little about that one. I’ve been told that even if I have experience in some area, it’s just been so long ago, you have this gap, you see. I want to tell them all to go fuck themselves. I’m still the same person, only wiser, stronger, and would run circles, circles I say, around those other candidates. I only a want a job that will let me pay back my debts and allow me to get on with enjoying my life.

The next time I write about this, I promise good news. I am an eternal optimist, and I’m due for a break, right? I’m releasing this now and thank you for receiving it.

Later this week, my son will be participating in the Junior Olympics for water polo. I’m going to ride that wave and soak it up, I’m so proud of him. I will be stepping away from my blog again, but will try to stop by your blogs. Have a great week!

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53 thoughts on “Don’t Let It Pass You By

  1. hang in there — try to network, maybe some friends know of someone who needs someone. Once you get in, then you can transition to new positions easier.

    Have fun at the games – these years will never come around again.

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  2. Hi there, I think we are probably all aloof to a fairly large extent most of the time, except with our absolute nearest and dearest. But that aloofness is a veneer in a world that craves positivity. Lots of what you say resonates completely and it sounds like things have bee extremely tough for your family, of late, especially. I hope the storm/s will pass and that that you enjoy the games to the full. These are times that can be so profound ~ every bit as profound as the darker ones.

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    1. I totally agree that the aloofness is a veneer in a world that craves positivity. So well said. Sometimes, you just don’t want to disappoint anyone. I feel close to my community, so know that if I do reach out, they will respond. And, they definitely have. So, that is comforting to know that. And, also to remember that life is full of good and bad times. Sometimes, we just need to ride the storm out. Thanks for your wonderful comments.

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  3. Ah gosh! Firstly so tragic for your uncle and family as a whole, I’m so sorry to hear all that.

    I wonder similar things about my blog too, I feel I’ve been myself and been honest on there, and shared lots of personal things, but like you, they’ve generally been the lighter more fun things. There’s one big personal thing that I haven’t shared on there that has been a major thing in my life in the last few years, and I have good reasons for not sharing that on my blog, but then I feel like I’ve somehow been deceitful by keeping it from my blogging friends! It’s silly because we are free to talk about what we want on our blog and most people have boundaries somewhere about what personal things they will or won’t share on their blogs, and yet the lines between real world and blogging world are blurry at times.

    The job thing is difficult. I didn’t work for 5 years and then when my second child was a few months old I had to return to work and I found it so hard. Everything seemed to have changed. The biggest change was email. Prior to the 5 years, it felt like email had only just started to take off in the office, people would have like one email address for the department, and sending one would be a decision that people thought about “Ooh, let’s email that person!” And then after the 5 years, it was where everyone in offices had emails and emailed everything to everyone all the time without a second thought. It made me feel like I’d been out of the loop for a whole generation, and that was only 5 years! My way back in was through temping, the place I’m at now I’ve been at for 10 years and I came in as a temp initially. It’ll happen for you, but I know how demoralising it is in the meantime. Whoever employs you in the end, will be lucky to have you!

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    1. Oh, Vanessa. Thanks so much! You’ve really lifted my spirits, more than you know!

      The world of work has changed, as well as the job hunt. So different and harder it seems. I think it’s much about who you know, which can be difficult if you’ve been out of the loop! That’s funny about your email story. That’s the way I felt about the answering phone story. No more! People are expected to do more and more with technological advances, but it doesn’t mean their load is any lighter. I’m going to pursue a couple of different avenues, temping will be one of them. It does feel demoralizing at times. I just need to keep my head up. Thanks for your support. It means a lot to me!

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  4. Wow, that’s a lot of shit piled on you recently. Chin up, deep breath, tell your job to go fuck itself, and watch your boy become an Olympic water polo champion! πŸ™‚
    P.S. The fence looks magnificent.

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    1. Oh, Becky. I love you! You give such excellent advice. Indeed, my son will be a champion! No pressure or anything. Kidding….but at this point I just want him to have opportunities. Thanks, that fence is pretty. So new. Everything else feels just used and worn out, because it is. πŸ™‚

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  5. 40’s are a strange view, right? Look back look forward? damn if I know.
    I am with Beckysaysthings–double ditto.
    Audra

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    1. Audra, yes, the forties are weird, strange, you feel young, but you’re…I’m not going to say it. It’s difficult too, because my parents are experiencing a lot of death and talk about it a lot. It’s hard for me to grapple with when I have young children, and a new beginning with employment (whatever it may be). It is a weird place. Thanks for you support! It means a lot to me. xo

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      1. Your kids keep you young. I’m in my 40’s and my kids are older — makes me feel ancient.
        Aging family members and death are very hard to grapple with. It’s been a long 14 months for us to. I’m afraid it just keeps going. Cycle of life right?

        Anyways new horizons and change can also be exciting — go with it. New phase and all. Boy I’m rambling sorry. My hubs and I were just talking about our oldest moving into her first apartment and turning 20 –big sigh See old at 44

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      2. No, Audra, we are not old. I’m disregarding that. Seriously, I feel good, but know I need to take care of myself too. My kiddos are so young, and I’m an older mom. I wish I would have had them sooner. Oh well!! There’s nothing I can do about that now! You’re going to have some freedom. You must be looking forward to that!

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  6. I’m sorry to hear about all the family tragedy..that is a lot to soak in, so it’s ok to be on the down side when you need to. About “being yourself” on your blog. Well, I guess I’m myself but maybe a little more formal, more serious than I am in real life. But I did meet a few of my web friends–not blog friends but fitness friends, I have met online and both were amazingly awesome–I think it’s true that you do give off so much personality in the written word…people can know you better from that sometimes that in real life. I hope the job hunt works out ok for you—I’m 5 years off from work and a little horrified I haven’t figured out what I want to do w/life either. I haven’t started looking–was hoping I would just fall into it someday…ha, right? The 40s are strange on so many levels, but great too…and I think we do have a whole life ahead of us so need to take charge and make it work well for us! thanks for sharing in your post…

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    1. Robin,
      Nice to meet you here. Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I guess it’s okay to think on things and it’s certainly hard not to feel for other people when they’re going through such a hard time. Some things you just don’t have control over.

      I know I’ve brought up this issue before on my blog about how open I may or may not be. I assume everyone has boundaries, things they won’t talk about. But, as you become more in touch with the same group, you do start to feel an intimacy that may not even exist with your non-blogging friends. It’s a special relationship, wouldn’t you say?

      As for the future, I’m open to possibilities, and like you, would love for it to fall in my lap! That would be great! Flow with the river, as they say. I’m beginning to see that if that great job doesn’t happen right away, so far it hasn’t, it will mean baby steps and a slow progression to what will hopefully bring a bit of happiness and adequate compensation. I don’t need the moon and stars! Best of luck to you, too. Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. Blogging friends, yes. Real life friends, absolutely. In the throws of the forties myself, have had enough crap to build a crap kingdom with crap villages and a crap landing strip for an entire fleet of flying crap saucers. Smiling yet? It’s a weird Monday. I haven’t had a paying job in five years, but I’ve been busy as crap. }}hugs{{

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    1. Oh crap, that was funny, Honie!! Haha. Yes, it made me smile. Made my day, in fact! It is weird to not be working and be sooo busy, right?! Some things would have to drop with a job, I’m supposing. Thanks for you support. Hugs to you! Love your writing!

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  8. I’m sorry about your Uncle Bob. And I hate it how it seems that the misfortune, and bad news seems to hit us all in waves and all at once.
    I could so relate to your job market re-entry struggles too. I hope that you find something soon, and I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.
    Just hugs all around for you and your family. I hope things look up soon.

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    1. Rachelle, it’s true that misfortune can hit in waves! I hope it’s done for now. Thanks for the kind thoughts. I wish you well, too. It’s tough starting over. My life seems to have been a series of start overs! I’m tired of them. But, what can I do? I’m even okay with not “being” anything any more. I just want a little slice of happiness where I’m stressing over finances all the time. That would be nice! Thanks for your support. It mean a lot to me.

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  9. Thanks for sharing what’s been going on for you, Amy. Like you, I share my happy side on my blog, most of the time. And I know that you’ll find the right job that suits you well and acknowledges and compensates you for your many talents.

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    1. Thank you, Cathy! It’s hard to share the not so fun stuff sometimes. It’s easier for me to hide behind it or ignore it. But, I’m really glad I reached out. People have been so supportive and kind. I don’t feel so alone. Thanks for all your support!

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  10. Amy, I struggle with the ‘gap’ thing, too. It’s been over ten years since I held down a full-time job. You already know that I’ve had the itch to go back to work for some time now. But, it’s just not the right season for me.
    It’s refreshing to hear that you’re a closet optimist. The best thing you can do is LIVE in the moment. Be fully present today, and later this week when your son competes in the Junior Olympics. You’ll never get this time back with your children again!

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    1. Anka, thanks for your comments. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one struggling with this transition. I’m really glad I reached out to people. They’ve really come through! You make such a good point that I won’t get this time back with my kids. This is why I have no regrets, other than the current struggle, about being at home with them. It made me sense to me, so I did it. Thanks for your encouragement. xox

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      1. Of course, Amy! It’s not easy living in a state of flux, especially when you’re highly motivated and eager to work. And even though motherhood is TRULY one of the most thankless jobs on earth, I’m certain your kids will grow up to appreciate your sacrifice.
        Hugs! ~ Anka

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  11. So sorry for the troubles in your family. How unfair to have so many horrible things piled upon your uncle. And I wish you well with the job-hunting. My sister faced something similar after being out of the work force for over a decade. She ended up getting her Master’s from an online school and landed a teaching job in music. She loves her job, but she faced a lot of age discrimination trying to get back into the workforce.

    Congrats to your son!

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    1. Thanks, Carrie. I do feel some age discrimination. I try not to focus on it, but I think it’s there. I also need to be realistic and consider I may need to zero in on something specific. I’m glad your sister found something she likes!

      On another a completely different topic, I’m finally reading your book and I love it!!! I will do a review of it on my blog when I get back!

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      1. So nice to hear. Thank you! But don’t feel you need to put a review on your blog. You’ve got plenty else to do, I’m sure. I’d be tickled with just an Amazon review. You are very kind. πŸ™‚

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  12. Wow! First of all, to everyone who responded with compassion & support, that was amazing it felt like I was getting the support as I can to relate to all of your life stories. AMY! I’m sorry about all of down side of your family, but isn’t it amazing how one great thing (your sons junior Olympic ) can make us forget , we’ll temporarily . I have been out of job for 2 years, 17 years in a catholic preschool πŸ™‚ and 2 years in a Lutheran school, 😦 after leaving the lutheran school due to discrimination
    (long story!) my mom became ill in January 2012 , since I wasn’t working I took care of mom 3 days a week until March 2012 . She died March 25, 2012. I wish I wrote things down , or this & that . BUT ! I will always be thankful I had those moments ! If I didn’t lose job & wasn’t there to help mom, ummm I probably be in a mental hospital . Ha!
    Anyway I started a job in may that’s only a hour a day , people question what? Why are you doing that ? I say … Baby steps … I’ve known Amy since I was 4 years old and I’m glad we have gotten in touch again ! Thank you Facebook ,I have one daughter Heather who is my life , and I will do anything for her that , indeed makes me happy πŸ’œ

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    1. Oh, Carol, love you. You’re so sweet to comment and care about me! You’re right. Sometimes, we can’t question the why of everything. In the end, it worked out for you to be home with your mom. I’m so happy you got to spend that time with her. So, who knows! I have to keep positive. Usually, I am, and then I get so overwhelmed that I fall apart, picking myself back up again. Thanks for all your support. It may be baby steps for me whether I like it or not. If they’re steps in the right direction, then it really doesn’t matter, does it? I will be in touch! Love you, Amy

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  13. Oh, I have so been there, Bumble. I wasn’t out of the workforce for as long, but you wouldn’t believe the number of part-time or just short-lived jobs I had when the kids were very young. I have three college degrees, and ironically this worked against me. People were like, why do you want to work here with all this education? And I was going BECAUSE I WANT TO EAT. Of course you can’t say that. Heck the only reason I had the MA in English was because they offered me a job as a teaching assistant and you had to get the degree as part of the job.

    It took me two years to find my current job, and I’m still technically “overqualified” in the education department yet was under-qualified in experience. Of course – because I hadn’t had a chance to work there. Ironically, the job I have now I applied and interviewed for twice. The first time they hired someone else. He lasted 8 months and was HORRIBLE. When I came in, I didn’t have to do much to look pretty damn incredible to them. Maybe just that I was persistent enough to come back helped. And that’s what it takes more than anything – persistence. At least while you look, you’re getting a little more time with your kiddo. Being a working mom is hard – rewarding in many ways (like that paycheck for one) but hard.

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    1. Alice, thanks for sharing your story. I appreciate that! That has been the most positive thing out of sharing this. I’m not alone! It’s a hard transition and I expected it to be easier. Whether or not I want to believe it, I think age must factor into it, too. I want to ignore that, but that’s not the way life is. I’ve got some experience, but it’s not enough or specific enough to be in the highly skilled categories. That leaves me in the other group: entry level. I feel like in the middle ground, it’s hard to find jobs, because they want the sun, the moon, and the stars in terms of experience but then don’t want to pay jack! You know!! It’s quite frustrating. I think I may sub teach and take a few classes, unless of course, I get a wonderful job in the meantime! And persistence…yes, that is excellent advice. I can’t give up. My kids are now at an age where they need more and more stuff, and college is around the corner, or so it seems. It’s time to get my act in gear. Thanks for your support! xoxo

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  14. What a load of coincidences. Sounds like a lot of changes in your family and ones you can’t really ignore. I find when we are influenced and affected by what’s around us we tend to naturally gravitate to assess internally as well.
    If you are passionate about what you are doing, it matters not what we do. That being said, it helps to be paid as well. Keep at it, something is definitely bound to fall into place. I wish you the best.

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    1. Tania, what a nice outlook you have. That does happen, doesn’t it…to assess internally. I almost feel a bit selfish doing that at a time like this, but maybe it is the natural thing to do. Take stock, as I am already in a contemplative mode. I’m feeling a lot more positive after writing this, almost as if I needed to release it, get it off my chest. Somehow (I think we talked about this once) the act of releasing it, publishing it, is a way of letting it go. I can hopefully look at it more objectively, if that is possible. Thanks so much!

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      1. Amy, I agree that sometimes the act of writing and releasing does more for us than thinking, analyzing, and trying to “do” something about our situation. I recently had a similar experience that when I finally got something off my chest, there was much less to actually worry about. I say go ahead and take care of yourself. You are no good to anyone else if you are not taken care of first and foremost.

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  15. I’m so sorry to hear about your uncle and the family – good grief, things have been very rough lately! On the job front, just get the experience (and write it on your resume and move on). I was off work looking after my children for ten years and then started back on the workforce again. I just took whatever was going in the office environment and added everything to my resume and it worked for me. Whenever you do anything write it down (book travel, answer phones (sometimes!), book meetings, take minutes, etc) every little bit helps πŸ˜€

    Congrats on your son participating in the Junior Olympics for water polo! WOW – what a little champion πŸ˜‰

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    1. Thanks for all your advice and tips, Dianne. Every little bit can help as you never know what someone needs and is looking for. I think I just need to get back to work in any capacity. Once I do that, I will probably be more relaxed with the extra income. Then, I can zero in and figure it all out.

      Thanks! I will enjoy these moments. I love that he wants to do this! πŸ™‚

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  16. I certainly understand you feeling crippled by not being able to find a job. It is like our self worth is directly linked to being able to bring home that paycheck. Your indecision is probably brought on by trying to constantly trying to reinvent yourself to fit a job description that probably didn’t exist a few years ago. In the mean time all the other stuff that is happening to you is hard enough to deal with on its own. You have a lot to offer. Anyone who will give you a chance will find that it was the best decision they ever made. Someone will see it. The right person will see it!
    For now, isn’t it nice that you have the freedom to enjoy your son’s performance in the Olympic events. Perhaps that isn’t a coincidence either. Enjoy it.

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    1. Such valuable insights you have, Michelle. Thank you! I think you are right about trying to reinvent myself to fit some job that may or may not even be right for me. You’re so thoughtful and encouraging. I’ll keep telling myself that when it happens it will be meant to be! I’ll just keep putting my feelers out there. It’s true, the bright side is I have time to experience my son’s Junior Olympics. It’s all a matter of how you look at things. I will enjoy it! Thanks so much!

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  17. Was glad to see a post from you–been missing those. I hate people who tell me that everything will be alright, so I’m not doing that. Like you said, looking around you see lots of bad stuff but you can count the blessing of the upcoming Olympics. Jobs aren’t around here in GA, either. Take whatever turns up and turn it around. Don’t be gone too long!!

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    1. You’re sweet, Ly. I miss you, too! I just read your last post, but didn’t have time to comment so I will be back! I have to remember the job market is tough for everyone, and then add the gap factor and it’s even more challenging. I need to be patient, and know it may not happen quite as quickly as I’d like. I may have to just anything like he said. Thanks for your support. Don’t worry, I’ll be back!

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  18. Be strong, Amy … Be strong! You did the right thing to focus on being a mom, so don’t beat yourself up. Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes we get hit with what feels like a tidal wave … so be strong!

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    1. Thanks, Frank. I appreciate this. In hindsight, it’s easy to say I could have done it another way. Although while doing it and living with my decision, it felt right! So, yes, I’m going to feel good about it. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  19. Amy, those are some truly tough things to process… so sorry for your uncle, and other family members. Rough! But, I hope you enjoy your son’s moment in the spot lightβ€” such an honor, and you have every reason to be proud, and savor that moment. Hope things turn around; you surely deserve it!

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  20. Amy,
    I’m sorry to hear about all the hard times your family is going through these days. That’s a lot to go through at once. I’m glad you’re an eternal optimist because I am as well. So, I will be hoping and praying that you find a great job soon. Just remember, there is a beacon of optimism over in Korea who is rooting for you! πŸ™‚

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    1. Aww, thanks so much, David! I appreciate that. I’m taking a break from the job search while my son plays in his tournament and we visit some family. I’ll return with full gusto! Thanks for your kind words and positive thoughts!

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  21. I have worked the last ten years and still am having trouble finding a job. I like to look at the flip side of that, which is that my family is learning to live with less (wife works, thank goodness). And you do have your whole life in front of you. It could be five years or five decades, but it’s all sacred. Or it will be.

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  22. I went back to school in my 40s. I got my teaching credentials and loved my work. Then we moved to another state and I never went back to work. I am now 60 and thought about going back to do something (anything really) and for the same reason, to pay a few bills. Now you have me wondering if I will end up at McDonalds or working as a Wal-Mart greeter. 😦

    Nothing ventured nothing gained. Who knows, maybe I will get lucky? Truthfully, I do not believe it is our age. I think it is the rotten economy, and blame whomever you will for that, it is hurting young and old in the job market. JMHO.

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    1. Thanks, Lynda, for your thoughtful comments. I know it’s a difficult time for a lot of people, and some in a much harder position than me. I’m a bit more upbeat since I wrote that post, so first let me say thank you for stopping by and lifting my spirits. I’m encouraged that something will come together soon. Good luck to you, too! All the best. – Amy

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